We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Kennel Cough Strikes yet Again!

Kennel Cough in the Comox Valley is a hot topic yet again this week. Here at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we have had a surge of patient calls and visits for this reason and would like to share a few basics on what we are seeing, what you can do, and when to see your veterinarian.

When we use the term “kennel cough,” it is a very broad term that basically includes several different viruses that can cause a cough and other respiratory symptoms. The symptoms we hear about most often are: a dog is coughing, coughing to the point of retching, choking or honking sound, presence of phlegm or whitish fluid being coughed or gagged up as a result of coughing, runny nose and eyes, sneezing and/or reverse sneezing. In most common cases, these symptoms resolve after two weeks and can be safely treated at home.

What to do if your dog starts coughing:

  • Give your dog plenty of rest and downtime, no vigorous play.
  • Keep your dog away from busy dog areas. Kennel Cough is extremely contagious, do your part not to spread the outbreak!
  • Help your dog to drink more fluids, consider adding some healthy broth to the water bowl to increase fluid intake.
  • Keep a closer eye on your pet to make sure that more serious symptoms don’t occur.

When to call your vet:

  • You have an immuno-compromised pet, a senior pet or a young puppy who has developed respiratory symptoms you are concerned with.
  • Your dog has a fever (temperature over 39.2 degrees centigrade)
  • Your dog becomes lethargic, non-responsive, stops eating or drinking, stops eliminating.
  • Is having a really hard time breathing- not just coughing.
  • Your dog has been coughing for over two weeks, and symptoms aren’t resolving.

Just like in human medicine, being vaccinated for Kennel Cough does not mean your pets are immune to all strains of the virus. What most veterinarians vaccinate for which falls under the “kennel cough umbrella” is:

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica (in the oral Bordetella vaccine)
  • Distemper Virus (in your pet’s core DAP vaccine)
  • Canine Adenovirus (in the DAP vaccine)
  • Parainfluenza (included in both the core DAPP vaccine and the intranasal Bordetella vaccine)

If you are trying to prevent your animal from becoming infected with Kennel Cough, stay clear of dog parks and doggy daycare while the virus is evident in the community. While out walking, try to avoid stopping to sniff or “have a play” with other unknown dogs and remember that the virus can be contagious after symptoms have resolved, so respect your fellow dogs by staying close to home if your dog is under the weather.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 250.334.8400.

Written by: Van Isle Veterinary Hospital



Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Friday, March 19, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 250.334.8400. We will take a history of your pet from outside your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, the Doctor will either call you or come out to talk to you to discuss the treatment etc for your pet. For those who do not have a mobile phone, an easy knock at the door will work the same way!

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are OPEN and temporarily operating as a 24-hour hospital.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital